Monday, June 21, 2010

New Bill Would Bar U.S. Federal Procurement of Chinese Goods Until China Joins GPA

(World Trade Interactive)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., introduced June 17 the China Fair Trade Act of 2010 (S.3505), which would prohibit the federal government from purchasing goods and services from China until Beijing joins the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement. The U.S. has been urging China to join the GPA since it became a WTO member in 2001, and at the most recent Strategic and Economic Dialogue meeting Chinese authorities said they would submit a revised accession offer by July.

A fact sheet from Stabenow’s office states that because the U.S. is a GPA member China has access to the estimated $1.7 trillion U.S. government procurement market, where it is able to sell products such as tires and office equipment. In contrast, China has developed an indigenous innovation program that “essentially prevents American companies from bidding on Chinese government contracts” and thus excludes them from a market worth nearly $500 billion. According to Stabenow, the U.S. will not be able to reach its goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years until China opens its procurement market by joining the GPA. Read more here.